About this site's lack of design: Yes, it's supposed to look this way — I'm helping create a new sandbox theme for WordPress (see it on GitHub).

Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Suffering from chronic idiocy since 1977

Archive for July, 2003


MovableType Meetup

Friday, July 25th, 2003

Now this would be really cool! Unfor­tu­nately, the clos­est area which appears to have enough peo­ple to actu­ally meet is Tampa, a 4–5 hour drive from Fort Laud­erdale. I’m the only per­son to try to sign up in Broward County so far (apparently).

So, any other Palm Beach/Broward/Miami-Dade Mov­able­Type users out there? Speak up, I can’t hear you! Sigh.



Hive Got Desktops

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2003

Dan Ben­jamin (of Hive­Ware Email Address Enkoder fame) has released some new desk­top images (not too bad, espe­cially if you like blue) and to cel­e­brate, I’ve decided to release a set of my own.

Pre­sent­ing: Super­flu­ous Desktops

Down­load, use, review, enjoy.

UPDATE: It has been brought to my atten­tion that I have com­pletely and entirely (etc. etc.) missed the one year anniver­sary of Super­flu­ous­Ban­ter! July 19th, 2002 marked my first post to this site, and it has evolved beau­ti­fully since then. My apolo­gies for miss­ing the big 1.0 — you may all now con­sider the new desk­tops as a belated birth­day present…

UPDATE #2: Yes, I was indeed inspired by Mr. Benjamin’s desk­top offer­ings when I decided to cre­ate my own. No, even though the lay­out of the desk­top page looks almost iden­ti­cal to that of Mr. Benjamin’s, I swear I didn’t copy it: I still use IE 5.1 on OS 9 as my pri­mary browser, so when I viewed his page it looked like this. I can only offer a pub­lic apol­ogy to Mr. Ben­jamin for the way it turned out :-)



More Site Tweaks

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003

I’ve made some changes to the Com­ments lay­out on each indi­vid­ual entry page (you may need to refresh the page, reload the style sheets, or clear your browser cache if you can’t see the changes).

Now the Post details for each com­ment are listed above the com­ment, which makes much more sense, and I’ve also added an icon to each com­ment, adding to the brand­ing of the site. The icon is placed as a back­ground image with CSS, rather than clut­ter­ing up the page with tons of <img> tags.

The entire com­ment area (save the com­ment form) is now set apart from the rest of the page with a light back­ground color and bor­der, and some padding.



Gamma Problems

Monday, July 21st, 2003

First of all, no, this has noth­ing to do with the Incred­i­ble Hulk — I spent a good deal of time this week­end revis­it­ing the site design for Web­graph, which has been sit­ting idle in my hard drive for too long. I’ve had the basic design com­pleted since the begin­ning of the year (!), so I decided to start test­ing the col­ors on dif­fer­ent sys­tems before I con­sider the scheme (and the exact shades) final­ized, and this is where I start to run into prob­lems: I’ve dealt with gamma issues before (PC’s and Mac’s have dif­fer­ent gamma set­tings, which cause col­ors to dis­play dif­fer­ently between plat­forms, and even between dif­fer­ent mon­i­tors if they’ve been cal­i­brated), but I can’t recall ever see­ing as much of a dif­fer­ence as I am with this par­tic­u­lar case.

To illus­trate the prob­lem, I’ve cre­ated an exam­ple (view test image) show­ing what I con­sider to be the accept­able vari­a­tions in shades of black (con­cen­trate on the nav bar, behind the words “Home, Our Work” etc.) between the top and bot­tom bor­ders, the solid back­ground, and the diag­o­nal pat­tern (all shades of black). If you are view­ing this on a PC, you might not see the pat­tern, or the top and bot­tom bor­ders. This is the problem.

On the desk­top PC’s here (the prob­lem does not occur on our Dell lap­top, because LCD dis­plays do not gen­er­ally share the same gamma prob­lems as CRT’s) the entire area from top bor­der to bot­tom bor­der (except the white let­ter­ing) looks black. No pat­tern, no dif­fer­ence between the bor­ders and the back­ground. On our Mac’s (some of them cal­i­brated, oth­ers straight out of the box, all CRT) the dif­fer­ence in shades is clearly visible.

The prob­lem is this: when I change the shades so they show up as sub­tle dif­fer­ences on the PC’s, it is so incred­i­bly light on the Mac’s as to make it look stupid.

Aside from any ideas (which are most wel­come), I would like to use you, my val­ued reader, as a test user: please post your review of the above test image in the com­ments of this post, and include your test­ing envi­ron­ment (OS, browser, type of mon­i­tor, color depth, cal­i­brated or not, gamma set­ting if known) and let me know which of the vari­a­tions you pre­fer (or none, if you can­not see the pat­tern at all).

I really appre­ci­ate your help, and if you can assist with an direct solu­tion, I’ll include a com­ment in the final site’s HTML list­ing you as a con­trib­u­tor, and link­ing to your site.



Redesigns Abound

Friday, July 18th, 2003

Hot on the heels of Dou­glas Bowman’s redesign of Adap­tive Path, the imitable Dan Ceder­holm has com­pleted his lat­est project, redesign­ing Inc.com (his studio’s site has also received a facelift). The four sites linked above are not just ter­rific exam­ples of design, but all make use of valid XHTML and CSS.

With all these great exam­ples tak­ing up your time, you may not have noticed the few minor tweaks made to this site: the pri­mary nav­i­ga­tion now resides in its own UI ele­ment (the bar under­neath the header), and fea­tures sub­tle hover effects (all CSS, of course); the style switcher has been sim­pli­fied by remov­ing the two exper­i­men­tal styles (this has also decreased page-load times a bit); and finally, I’ve livened up the header just a lit­tle, bor­row­ing one of the ele­ments from this site’s logo (the globe). Of course, all the changes have been trans­lated to each of the alter­nate styles.

I’m still not done (is a designer ever really done?), so you may have to reload the page and/or stylesheets over the next few days/weeks if things look squir­relly. I have to do some­thing to make myself feel bet­ter after spend­ing so much time look­ing at Doug and Dan’s per­sonal sites–it’s good to have the bar raised every once in a while.


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